Blog / Easy Chocolate Barks [How to Guide +15 Recipes!]

Easy Chocolate Barks [How to Guide +15 Recipes!]

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Looking for a delightful and simple sweet treat? Discover the joy of candy-making with these chocolate bark recipes! Chocolate bark is a tasty blend of chocolate and crunchy goodness that not only tastes heavenly but is quick and easy to make. A perfect Christmas candy! In this blog, you’ll learn how to make your own candy bark for gifting, snacking, or adorning your holiday dessert table. We will also show you how to elevate your chocolate bark and package it for gifting.
platter of different chocolate barks for everyday and christmas

Ingredients You'll Need

We’ve provided some great recipes below, but you can use your creativity and customize your own recipes! Nearly everything tastes great with chocolate. Using up ingredients to make bark is a great way to use up extra chocolate and extra crunchy ingredients like pretzels, nuts, and even cereal. Here are some fantastic ingredients that pair well with chocolate and can be used to create a variety of delectable candy bark creations:

  • Chocolate: Choose from milk, dark, or white chocolate for your Holiday barks. We've used candy melts in these recipes for delicious, easy-to-make candies. If using real chocolate (the ingredient list will list cocoa butter and/or cocoa liquor), it is important to temper or the bark will remain tacky or have streaks.
  • Candy Crunches and Candy Bits: Country Kitchen SweetArt carries a wide variety of commercial candy crunches and bits such as peppermint, toffee, lemon, tiny crisp rice and much more.
  • Nuts: Chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, walnuts, or pistachios provide a satisfying crunch and a rich, nutty flavor that compliments chocolate beautifully.
  • Pretzels: Pretzels bring a salty and crunchy element that balances the sweetness of chocolate, creating a harmonious contrast in flavors. These small pretzel balls are a perfect addition to barks.
  • Dried Fruits: Dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, or raisins add a chewy texture and a touch of natural sweetness that contrasts with the chocolate's richness.
  • Micro Mini Marshmallows: Add a soft pillowy texture or a crunchy texture with micro marshmallows. The micro-sized marshmallows (think the size of the marshmallows that come in hot cocoa mixes) are the perfect size for candy barks. Country Kitchen Sweetart carries both dehydrated mini marshmallows and soft mini marshmallows.
  • Caramel Bits: Country Kitchen SweetArt’s caramel bits provide a buttery, caramelized flavor that melds beautifully with the chocolate’s firmness.
  • Coconut Flakes: Toasted or untoasted coconut flakes add a tropical twist and a pleasant chewiness to your candy bark.
  • Sprinkles: Colorful sprinkles or edible glitter can add a festive touch and a pop of color to your candy bark.
  • Cookie Pieces: Crushed cookies, such as Oreos or graham crackers, introduce a satisfying crunch and an extra layer of flavor.
  • Flaked Sea Salt: A sprinkle of flaked sea salt on top of your candy bark balances the sweetness with a touch of saltiness, enhancing the overall flavor profile.
  • Flavorings: Add depth with a hint of flavor. Be sure to use a concentrated flavor or oil-based flavor to ensure the flavoring doesn’t cause the chocolate to seize.

Three Ways to Make Chocolate Bark

Video Tutorial

Mixed Ingredient Bark

finished photo of mixed bark - toffee bark
The first way to make Candy Bark is the quickest and easiest (although none of the techniques are difficult). Simply melt the chocolate candy coating and then add the crunchy ingredient. Mixed ingredient bark is typically a 2 to 1 ratio. Use 2 cups of chocolate to 1 cup of crunchy ingredients. More or less crunchy ingredients can be added depending on your preference.

Directions:

Step 1: Lay out a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter. If the chocolate is in block form, chop the chocolate into uniform pieces. Place the chocolate candy wafers or chopped chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl.
Step 2: Melt the chocolate using 20-second intervals, stirring in between to ensure the chocolate melts evenly and doesn’t scorch. Continue melting until the chocolate is fluid.
chocolate wafers in heat-safe bowl for microwaving chocolate wafers melted for toffee bark Step 3: Immediately add the crunchy ingredient and flavoring if desired. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated.
Step 4: Use a spatula and spread the bark as thin as possible on the parchment paper. Allow to set up completely at room temperature before breaking into pieces. toffee crunch added to melted chocolate for toffee barkspreading melted chocolate and toffee onto parchment paper

Mixed Ingredient Bark Recipes:

Marbled Bark

salted caramel bark on white platter
The third way to make bark is to melt two colors and/or flavors of chocolate and marble the melted chocolate together. This creates a visually stunning candy. Ingredients can be sprinkled on top for added color, flavor, and texture.

Directions:

Step 1: Lay out a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter. If the chocolate is in block form, chop the chocolate into uniform pieces. Place the chocolate candy wafers or chopped chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl. 
chocolate wafers in bowl to be melted salted caramel wafers in bowl to be melted Step 2: Melt the first color of chocolate to be used using 20-second intervals, stirring in between to ensure the chocolate melts evenly and doesn’t scorch. Continue melting until the chocolate is fluid. Add flavoring if desired. Set aside.
Step 3: Melt the second color of chocolate to be used using 20-second intervals, stirring in between to ensure the chocolate melts evenly and doesn’t scorch. Continue melting until the chocolate is fluid. Add flavoring if desired. 
melted chocolate and salted caramel wafers in bowl to be melted
Step 3: Use a spatula and spread the first color of melted chocolate on the parchment paper.
Step 4: Immediately spoon dollops of the second color on top.
Step 5: Swirl the melted chocolates together. Be sure to hold the knife at a 90-degree angle or the chocolate will look muddy.
melted salted caramel and chocolate wafers spread on parchment marbled melted salted caramel and chocolate wafers after Step 4: If desired, immediately sprinkle crunchy ingredients on top of the warm chocolate. Allow to set up completely at room temperature before breaking into pieces. marbled salted caramel bark topped with salt flakes salted caramel bark scored with pastry wheel.

Marbled Bark Recipes:

Layered Bark

finished photo of layered bark - peppermint bark
The second way to make bark is to melt the chocolate, and then sprinkle the warm chocolate with the crunchy product. A second flavor or color of melted chocolate can be added to the bottom layer of chocolate before sprinkling the crunchy ingredient. Keep in mind that some ingredients such as pretzels or tiny crisp rice will become stale as the bark sets over time if the finished bark is not stored in an airtight container. If making bark for a gift, ingredients that may become stale are best when mixed in the chocolate rather than sprinkled on top.

Directions:

Step 1: Lay out a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter. If the chocolate is in block form, chop the chocolate into uniform pieces. Place the chocolate candy wafers or chopped chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl.
Step 2: Melt the chocolate using 20-second intervals, stirring in between to ensure the chocolate melts evenly and doesn’t scorch. Continue melting until the chocolate is fluid. Add flavoring if desired.
chocolate wafers in heat-safe bowl for microwaving melted chocolate in a bowl for making bark Step 3: Use a spatula and spread the melted chocolate as thin as possible on the parchment paper.
Step 4: If desired, melt a second flavor or color of chocolate. Spread the second flavor on top of the first when the bottom layer is just set (the chocolate has just lost its shine). Note: Waiting until the first layer is completely set may cause the layers to separate.
melted milk chocolate spread onto parchment paper melted white chocolate spread on top of milk chocolate for bark Step 5: Immediately sprinkle the crunchy ingredients on top of the warm chocolate. Allow to set up completely at room temperature before breaking into pieces.
red and green crushed peppermint sprinkled onto melted chocolate for bark

Layered Bark Recipes:

Cutting the Bark

Once the chocolate is completely set, carefully lift the bark and break it into pieces. The broken pieces give a lovely rustic appearance - irregular pieces are encouraged! Not crazy about the rustic look? Another alternative is to score the chocolate with a pizza cutter when it is just set (no longer shiny). When it is completely set, it will break into nice, cut squares.
scoring chocolate bark with pizza cutter for squares removing squares of chocolate bark for packaging

Ways to Elevate Your Bark

Want to take your bark to the next level? These additions add a professional touch to your bark with little effort.

  • Transfer Sheets
    Chocolate transfer sheets are a secret weapon in the world of confectionery, allowing you to add intricate designs and professional flair to your homemade candy bark recipes. Chocolate transfer sheets are thin, flexible sheets made from cocoa butter and food coloring. They come in an array of designs, from classic patterns to intricate images, making them perfect for adding a touch of elegance to your candy bark.

    To Use Chocolate Transfer Sheets:
    Place the transfer sheet texture side up on a sheet of parchment paper.
    Spread the desired bark recipe on top of the texture sheet.
    Use a spatula and spread the bark as thin as possible on the transfer sheet taking care not to touch the transfer sheet design with your spatula. 
    red and green plaid chocolate transfer sheet spreading melted chocolate with peppermint on top of Christmas chocolate transfer sheet When the bark is just set, score using a pastry wheel, or allow it to set up completely at room temperature before breaking into pieces.

  • peppermint bark scored into squares completed peppermint bark with on red cake stand
  • Sprinkles
    Another way to take your candy bark to the next level is by using sprinkles. These tiny, colorful confections not only add a burst of vibrancy but also an enticing crunch. Simply sprinkle your desired jimmies, nonpareils, sanding sugars, edible confetti, edible glitter, or sprinkle mixes onto the bark before it sets to add a punch of color, texture, and theme to your bark candy.

  • birthday cake bark with sprinkles birthday cake blog with sprinkles and birthday icing layons
  • Chocolate Drizzle
    After the bark is set, drizzle a contrasting color of chocolate to add a touch of artistic flair. Melt chocolate. Pour melted chocolate into a squeeze bottle or pastry bag when set. Immediately drizzle onto the bark. Allow to set completely before scoring or breaking the bark into pieces.

  • yellow banana pudding bark with a white chocolate drizzle plate of banana pudding bark
  • Candy Molds
    Using chocolate molds can take your candy bark game to a new level with beautifully shaped and decorated sweet creations for any occasion. Making candy bark using candy molds is a delightful way to create stunning and personalized sweet treats.

    Chocolate wafers (candy melts) are ideal for barks when using candy molds. If using real chocolate (the ingredient list will list cocoa butter and/or cocoa liquor), the chocolate should be tempered while molding or the bark will be nearly impossible to remove.

    adding chocolate bark mixture to fall leaves silicone mold chocolate bark pieces shaped like fall leaves. To Use Candy Molds:
    Mix bark according to recipe instructions. When mixed, spoon the candy bark into a clean, dry candy mold. Tap the mold to eliminate air bubbles. Place the mold in the freezer for a few minutes until the mold is cloudy and the bark falls from the mold.

    Optional: To add additional color contrast, paint the details inside the candy mold using melted candy coating before filling it with the bark. Allow the details to be set at room temperature. When details are set, fill with the bark.

    Tip: If the bark is set up before all the cups are filled, you can zap the mixture in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until the bark is fluid again.

  • Candy Cups
    Serving individual cups of bark candy is ideal when wanting to add a small bite-size treat to an assorted box of chocolates. Candy cups are also nice for parties as tongs are not required for serving.

    decorated chocolate bark in candy cups for Christmas boxed decorated chocolate bark in candy cups for Christmas To Fill Candy Cups:

    Place all the candy cups on a cookie sheet.
    Follow the recipe for your desired bark.
    Spoon the warm bark into the candy cups.
    Immediately place on sprinkles or an edible icing decoration if desired.
    Allow to set completely before serving.

    Tip: If the bark is set up before all the cups are filled, you can zap the mixture in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until the bark is fluid again.

Packaging and Gifting Bark

different packaging options for chocolate bark
Candy barks are ideal for gift-giving. One batch of bark can provide several small goodie bags. Packaging your Christmas candy bark is not only about preserving its freshness but also about presenting it in an appealing way. Whether you're planning to gift your candy bark or use it as a delightful party favor, thoughtful packaging can enhance the overall experience. Here are some packaging ideas to consider:

  • Cellophane Bags: Clear cello bags are a classic and versatile option with a variety of sizes available. Simply place the candy bark pieces inside the bag, tie the top with a festive ribbon, and add a personalized gift tag.

  • Holiday Candy Bags: Opt for printed festive candy bags (many come with twist ties). Fill the bags with candy bark and use the twist tie to seal the bag.

  • Decorative Candy Boxes: Choose small, decorative candy boxes with holiday-themed designs. Line the boxes with parchment paper or food-safe tissue paper and arrange the candy bark inside. Secure the box with a ribbon and attach a gift tag.

How Long Does Chocolate Bark Last?

Candy bark can be kept at room temperature for several weeks. You can also make the bark up to 4 months ahead of time if you freeze the bark. For best results, place the candy in a candy box that is lined with plastic wrap. Wrap the entire box with plastic wrap, and then a layer of foil. Place in the freezer for up to two months. Bring the chocolate to room temperature before unwrapping the box.

NOTE: Barks with cookies, pretzels, or pieces that are not incorporated into the chocolate, and are sprinkled on top have a shorter shelf life. These barks should be kept at room temperature and in an airtight container to prevent the sprinkled pieces from becoming stale.